Resolute Response Required to Pelosi’s Failure on Genocide Resolution

BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN

Armenians worldwide are justifiably outraged by the refusal of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leadership to bring the Genocide Resolution to a vote.

Cong. Pelosi had “the majority, the authority, and the opportunity” to schedule a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, but failed to do so, the Armenian National Committee of America announced last week. Why didn’t she bring up the Resolution to a vote? It is important to note that contrary to their previous practice, neither the President nor the Secretary of State made any public statements against the Resolution. They did not have to; they had made a behind the scenes deal with Speaker Pelosi not to schedule a vote on the Resolution before Congress adjourned for the year, according to a knowledgeable Washington source. Under these circumstances, the self-serving claims of Turkey’s Ambassador and Turkish-American organizations that their belated actions blocked the vote were complete exaggerations, if not outright falsehoods, and inconsequential!

The Armenian Genocide Resolution is neither the beginning nor the end of Armenian political demands. Here is why: this is a commemorative resolution with no force of law; similar Genocide Resolutions were adopted by the House of Representatives twice, in 1975 and 1984; and such resolutions are only a means to an end.

What is the real objective of the Armenian Cause? Obtaining justice for Armenians from the descendants of those who not only butchered them, but occupied their homeland and confiscated their properties.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated last week that the Resolution was like “the sword of Damocles hanging above our heads.” He expressed the hope that such initiatives would not be brought up again in Congress as they wasted Turkey’s energy and time. The threat felt by Turkish leaders a century after their ancestors’ heinous crimes and the waste of their valuable resources to counter the Resolution are reason enough for Armenians to bring such initiatives to every legislative body in the world year after year. Moreover, each time Turkish leaders demand that a U.S. President block such a resolution, in return they are obligated to make costly political concessions to the American side.

Armenian-American organizations, led by ANCA, must now make a dispassionate strategic assessment to consider their next moves:

  • File lawsuits against Turkey and Turkish firms in U.S. federal courts, the European Court of Human Rights, and the World Court.
  • Increase the number of “hanging swords” on Turkish leaders’ heads by submitting multiple congressional resolutions that go beyond genocide acknowledgment. Among other things, these could include restitution of confiscated Armenian properties and return of churches to the jurisdiction of the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey.
  • Capitalize on Turkish leaders’ anti-western policies and statements to generate support for Armenian issues among the new Republican majority in the House.

Here are some preliminary thoughts on specific actions that could be considered by Armenian-American leaders in the coming weeks:

  • Steps to be taken against Minority Leader Pelosi and House Democratic leaders as political payback for their obstructionism. It is now up to them to woo their disappointed Armenian supporters with a series of concrete actions, not promises, to undo the damage they have caused to their own credibility.
  • Start planning for the 2012 elections to ensure that no Armenian-American would cast a vote or contribute a single dollar for Pres. Obama or any other member of Congress, Democrat or Republican, opposed to Armenian issues.
  • Assess the inaction of leaders in Armenia and the Diaspora who did not lift a finger nor utter a word in support of the Genocide Resolution, while Turkey’s President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister were pressuring Pres. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to block the vote.
  • Capitalize on the activism of the newly-energized Armenian-American community, especially the youth and celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Serj Tankian, to engage them in creative ways of pursuing the Armenian Cause.
  • Support Senators who have an interest in placing a new “hold” against Francis Ricciardone or his replacement as nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Turkey. There has been no U.S.
  • Ambassador in Ankara for more than 6 months. Similarly, Azeri-American efforts in support of the Turkish campaign of genocide denial must be countered by placing a new “hold” on Matt Bryza or his replacement as nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan. There has been no U.S. Ambassador in Baku for more than 18 months.

Instead of getting dejected by last week’s temporary setback, Armenians should strengthen their political resolve and escalate their demands from Turkey, using all legitimate means of redress to advance their just cause!

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13 Comments

  1. Anar said:

    This was a very revealing article. Armenians basically admit in it that all this call for Genocide recognition is a mean to an end: a territorial claim. Now, you cannot have it both ways: the Armenians death in 1915 were triggered by a territorial war or as a Genocide. Which way is it? If you start a war, you should expect casualities, including, unfortunately, civilians. Why does not Russia sue Germany for the genocide against its people? Why doesn’t any othe nation who has lost a war 100 years or more ago bring a law suite against the victors too? The whole thins is so hatefully vindictive. You guys cannot get over it: you lost a war, land, and a lot of people …100 years ago! So you will do anything you can to get back at Turkey. Which is fine, except Americans should not allow your ethnic hatred to damage the US national interests! And it seems that this is the case indeed. I am sure you are pissed off, because Pelosi and Democrats lead you by the nose. they did not allow the vote because they knew the resolution would pass. So their bluff would have been called. But they know such a resolution would be very bad for US interests, so there are not going to let you do that. Pretty cool actually, they get your money your votes, put pressure on Turkey for concessions, and in the end do what is best for America (and not Armenia). I am very proud of American political system!!!

  2. Bedros said:

    It is a pity that you were educated with an inferior education in a country that burned books and printed books with lies; sort of you were blinded to the truth that is you’re tuff not mine. Genocide period was completely removed from Turkish History and instead replaced with a couple of pages stating that Armenian people died from war, cold and hunger. So you say Israelis and Nazis were at WAR and Jews lost the war. (SIC) The New York Times on the spot reporting on Armenian Genocide.
    January 16, 1895 — March 16 & 19 1895 — November 12 1914 — January 11-13 1915
    August 27 1915 — September 16 1915 — September 24 1915 — October 4 1915
    November 17 1917 THIS IS JUST FROM ONE NEWSPAPER.
    turks were at war with Austrians/Hungarians/Bulgaria/Romania/Egypt/French/British/Japan/Libya ask Muammar Gaddafi he will tell you trains bl0wing up all over the place. turkey lost 16 wars to the Russians coming 17th & final war. YOU watch you’re Wife being raped your’ babies MURDERED; how could Babies be WAR enemies? tell me all you uneducated. I would go after the mamas too. (SIC) BOB SIMON and CBS made a dead monkey meat out of you turk deniers, now SWEDEN is recognizing the Armenian Genocide [Such an impact on to everyone in the World!] shame on you turk DENIERS! Truth can NOT be twisted. 1st. GENOCIDE .. 2nd 301 penal-code .. 3rd Prosecute those who DARE to speak the Truth, Hrant Dink/Orhan Pamuk/Tanar Aksham/Nihat Gen?’in/ and more. They are you’re 30,690 people/Families telling you something — http://www.ozurdiliyoruz.com/
    http://www.aaainc.org/index.php?id=7&no_cache=1&newsID=271
    these are the EDUCATED people of tutkey. How many Countries turkey was at war with? How many enemies dose turkey have? You should learn with these
    http://www.imprescriptible.fr/photographies/massacres-hamidiens
    http://www.armenian-genocide.org/statement_morgenthau.html
    — turks are Most talented Synagogues B0mbardiers 727 innocent people killed and or wounded.
    (SIC) Henry Morgenthau, U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (1913-16) under President Woodrow Wilson. Morgenthau, traveled from one end of turkey to the other Istanbul, Ankara, Adana, Antep, Aleppo, Tel Aviv. His daily telegrams reports to Washington All these are documented from day one. Kurds want half of turkey besides it belongs to them. Armenians will push for Recognition as long as it takes, turks spend you’re $$ and have the World look at you. When a government dose that to its own citizens,{teaching them Junk History} turk government should come out with a new penal coed and call it 301.5“”razing porkheads””.

  3. Greg said:

    We all know turks are not civilized enough to admit the truths therefore expectation from their culture is very low. However the truth will eventually prevail. My grandfather’s entire family were murdered just because they were Armenian. Everyone knows it was was pure extreme genocidal facism.

  4. Chelik said:

    Every and all Armenian has a duty to openly Boycott turkey; I mean total boycott [just as they openly justify a blockade] Not to visit, or even pass through turkey [[go and vacation into Syria, Lebanon, Greece, Spain, any part of Europe]] not to purchase anything made or from turkey. Two counties in the Word that blockade a neighboring Country is tukey and Israel.The only Two counties in the Word that used military F16 plans to kill Babies are turkey in Cyprus, Israel in Palestine, Remember TOTAL Boycott:

  5. Kiazer Souze said:

    Ask Robert Gates why billions of our tax payer dollars goes to Turkey as bachshish for the airbase on Armenian properties? Ask him why the US hasn’t built an airbase in Kurdistan? That would be less costly for the US Tax payers with a friendly Kurdish population where the US has already won their hearts and minds.

    Ask Robert Gates why the United States has forsaken the hearts and minds of the Armenian American community who have given the United States Ernest H. Dervishian (Medal of Honor recipient) and Arman T. Manookian (U.S.M.C.) who developed the notion of soft power to win hearts and minds through his art work.

    Ask Robert Gates why Veterans of Armenian heritage cannot even mourn for Manookian by visiting his grave site (a lost soul buried in an unmarked grave)?

  6. Kiazer Souze said:

    Why have they forsaken us in their thoughts….in their minds…..in their hearts?

  7. Kiazer Souze said:

    Pelosi, Gates and Obama have committed the ultimate betrayal to Americans of Armenian heritage.

  8. Kiazer Souze said:

    Obama should get the permission of the Turkish government to lay a wreath at Manookian’s grave site if he can find it at the anniversary of his suicide.

  9. Kiazer Souze said:

    Manookian’s, Gorky’s and Saroyan’s legacies represent the Pen. Dervishian’s legacy represents the dagger. And, ANCA’s legacy hopefully will represent the shovel through the boycott efforts.

  10. Kiazer Souze said:

    And I would say this as well to any legal professional, judge or justice; if you plan on supplementing your income by injecting yourself in public debate through the sale of books or mediation or the representation of Armenian clients, then you better make dam sure they are consistent with the Armenian cause for justice. If not, we will make dam sure you get lost and forgotten through boycott and see you starving in worse condition than the victims of the Genocide.

    What that means is if you support (via contributions or work through your synagogue) the Jewish Anti Defamation League that has opposed the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, then you should be boycotted as well. Every Armenian potential client should be asking their potential lawyers in bringing their legal claims for recitation against the Turkish government. The conflict of interest is glaringly apparent.

    • sepastasi mourad said:

      I like your style Kiazer Souze….I wish there were more Armenians like you

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